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Advantages and Disadvantages of Current Project Management Methods and Lean Production Delivery Systems

Autor:   •  November 21, 2017  •  1,719 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,032 Views

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1. Project Definition phase includes the customer or stakeholders design criteria and concepts which are managed by the Project Manager from start to finish. The Project Manager Is responsible for design and construction phases and must facilitate the dialogue between all project stakeholders.

2. Lean Design phase consists of conceptual, process and product design and is critical for establishing alignment between the design of a project and the process to deliver it. It’s important that a range of ideas are explored in depth over a longer period of time than traditional project management to ensure a decision is well considered.

3. Lean Supply is phase 3 of the LPDS process and involves fabrication, logistics and procurement. This phase is the dependency for establishing delivery timeframes and expectations. Lean supply is the phase that has the greatest outcome of waste reduction.

4. Lean Assembly is the delivery process encompassing the labour and tools required to deliver the end result to the customer. Lead times must be kept to a minimum here through process standardisation to ensure there is no ‘waiting’.

Advantages of LPDS

Integrated Workforce

In LPDS, members unite as an integrated team from the workforce to business management and the end customer. By working together all blockers are removed and decisions can be made extremely quickly.

Customer Satisfaction

In the lean product delivery system values are defined by client or client system which contains the end-users, such as who are in charge of expense, the technical consumers and their advisors (Mossman, Ballard & Pasquire, cited in Eynon 2013, p. 169). The project team must work closely and consult with the customer in order to clearly define customer requirements. This builds rapport with the customer while providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

Increased Quality and Production

LPDS is proven to deliver higher production volumes with quality levels to match, giving customer’s confidence that they’ll be satisfied with the output. In particular the following gains/improvements have been observed in all facets of the LPDS system according to Ballard & Howell: Project duration and cost is less than traditional methods Reduction in lead time observed due to unnecessary steps being eliminated Just In Time approach used effectively so that inventory is ideally zero. This eliminates unnecessary overheads (Cost) LPDS encourages employee involvement in all aspects of the project, regardless of their functional group. This creates a positive and reassuring workplace which is seen to boost productivity.

Disadvantages of LPDS

Highly Skilled Workforce

Success of the project is heavily reliant on the skill and professionalism of all workers. Lack of skilled workers can lead to low quality end product (Mossman, Ballard & Pasquire 2010, p. 13).

Organisational Structure

Complex organisational structures are difficult to incorporate into LPDS methodology due to the unified culture LPDS is built upon. If an organisation is disjointed or have varying goals LPDS may not be effective. It’s important that the business using LPDS is unified and that all team members are advocates of the project.

Supplier Management

Using the just in time method LPDS has a high demand on production rates and supplier deadlines. With such tight schedules and high demands, suppliers may not be able to meet the project teams plan. This in turn can affect project timing and costs.

Deviation from Initial Scope

LPDS constantly seeks to improve processes through the PDCA cycle and in some cases this can lead to different methodologies and outcomes. Ultimately this may result in deviation from the initial scope.

4. LPDS vs. Traditional Project Management

LPDS is a valuable evolution of traditional project management as it prioritises the removal of inefficiency and waste to improve the end to end delivery of a project. Quality, production time and cost are all enriched using the lean method benefitting both business and client. It’s important that Lean isn’t simply viewed in isolation as many of the principles.

While traditional project management tends to focus on converting inputs into outputs, LPDS manages the phases of the production process in order to minimise waste and maximise output efficiency. LPDS therefore manages the flow of activities in addition to simply converting inputs to outputs as in the traditional approach.

It’s important to see traditional methods as purely focusing on efficiency, whereas the LPDS focus on minimising waste (efficiency) whilst also maximising the value of the output (effectiveness) is vital. The change to LPDS has been driven by traditional methods having inappropriate control mechanisms and producing outputs of lower quality. Ultimately this has led to LPDS adding to the existing approach to allow businesses to adapt more quickly and facilitate a range of more complex production systems.

5. Summary

In comparing traditional project management methodology and Lean methodology, there appear to be some similarities in their approach to on time project execution, however Lean overlays a human element and has a focus on continual process improvement which is not so prevalent in the traditional approach.

The trend to use Lean project management methodology across all industries underpins a global need to reduce cost, optimise existing processes, identify waste points and drive efficiencies while also recognising the benefits of delivering outcomes using a cohesive team.

With businesses required to adapt at such a rapid rate, end to end delivery via LPDS methodology appears to better meet the needs of businesses today and is fast becoming the benchmark by which all projects are delivered.


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